Humility

Humility

Pride is a funny thing.

For that matter, so is humility.

They aren’t quite what I thought they were.

On some surface level I had a general idea but if I was going to be real honest with you, I don’t know if I could have told you why God hates pride so much.

But I’m in the know, now.

You want to know too, don’t you?

Okay, but you owe me a latte or something.

 

God hates pride because. . . (drumroll, please) it’s a relationship killer.

 

Yep, that’s the big secret.

God hates pride because it breaks down authentic, heart connections.

And on the flip side, God L-O-V-E-S humility because it promotes very real, very close relationships.

 

So this got me thinking.

What the heck is humility anyways.

And I don’t mean a definition out of the dictionary.

I mean if I take humility off the rack, what does it look like on a person?

 

 

It’s not self-depreciating.

If you’re good at something, own it.

No, seriously.

I told you, humility is not what we think it is.  When we self-depreciate ourselves its so we LOOK humble, but inside we are high five-ing our awesome selves.

Might as well just get it out in the open.

Besides, self-depreciating yourself is no laughing matter. . . unless you’re a writer then it’s just plain funny.

 

It’s not comparing yourself to others.

It’s like those old Nintendo racing games.

Every car had some pluses and some minuses, which kinda all evened them out in the end.  We’re all in this race together, except if you had the cheat codes, then your car was definitely the best, but if you have cheat codes, you owe it to the rest of us to share the love.

 

It takes time to rest.  

Whoa.

Hold up.

What does rest have to do with humility?

I know, right?  I was thinking the same thing.  We could be besties, the way you read my mind.

Rest is the simple act of acknowledging that hey, maybe I’m not Wonder Woman after all (or Superman, you choose.  They’re your tights).

And yeah, I’m human and I have needs.

Like a couch, some Netflix and a bag of Doritos.

Don’t knock it people.

Doritios, right there on the bottom of the Needs Pyramid.

What?!  It’s not there.

Well, they should be.

 

Humility is a team player.

It’s open to hearing new ideas. . . like putting Doritos on that dang Needs Pyramid.

 

And humility is okay with saying “no”.

Not to Doritos.

Humility would never say no to Doritos.

 

And maybe the most defining mark of humility is this. . . it’s cool being itself.

Humble people are comfortable in their own skin.

You know, like your grandpa when he wears his tank top and boxers with socks rolled up to his knees.  You know what I’m talking about – that is a man who is secure in his own skin . . . and fashion choices.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline

Colossians 3:12

The Message

 

I could use more humility in my life.

I could do with less comparison of what I think I should be.

I could do with more rest.

I could do with more saying “no”.

And I could definitely do more with just being me.

Maybe you could too.

We live in a world full of causes and needs – and we will get to them.  We will, because God has poured his spirit into us.  Those things won’t get left undone.  But in all of our doing, lets not forget that we are people and not vending machines.

Maybe that’s the truest mark of humility.

That we remember that we are human.

 

Love you,

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I left my house tonight with a mostly flooded bathroom floor.

Bath night and apparently I have not been clear in the past 3 years of her life that do not pour water on the bathroom floor actually means, do not pour water on the bathroom floor. . .

I also left the house tonight, having to surgically remove two little girls from my ankles, crying and begging their mommy to stay forever, never leave. . .or at least that’s what I think they said.

I was skeptical so I put it through Google translate and in the North American Toddler Dialect it roughly translates into: “Mooooooooommmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, don’t leave.  We know you’re the push-over in this house.  Dad’s gonna put us to bed and expect us to stay there.”

Needless to say I’m out self-medicating on a Venti Carmel Macchiato at Starbucks – yeah, that’s right Venti – as in the biggest coffee you got, you little hard working baristas.

I raise my cup to you tonight!!

Life with kids is crazy, crazy good most days, but still crazy.

I was tempted to stay home tonight – I won’t lie – I did last night because well, family should come first but I didn’t want to not post this week.

So tonight I’m here, because we’re all in this life together, even if we’re at different stages, different paces, and different geological coordinates.

And let’s face it, I needed the coffee and adult surroundings.

So. . .

How have you been?

Yeah?

I hear you.  I’d offer you a sip of my coffee, but who are we kidding.  We both know I NEED it wayyyy more than you tonight.

I thought instead of coffee, maybe tonight I’d share a little from John Eldridge and his book, “Walking With God”.

I think we could all use a pre-mid-week-pick-me-up.

Lez be honest, next to coffee and good music, a good book – even just a couple of paragraphs – can shift anyone’s day for the better.

 

The Spirit of the Age

So, I’ve come back up to the ranch this late November weekend to check on things.  Sitting here in the cabin, life feels so completely different.  Normal – in the sense of this is how we were meant to live.  The coffee tastes better up here.  It’s the same exact stuff I make at home, in the same cheap coffeemaker, but it smells fantastic and it’s full of flavor.  Why is that?  Stasi and I were out to dinner in an upscale restaurant two nights ago and probably paid thirty bucks a plate, but the ninety-nine cent noodles I just made coming back from hiking was the best food I’ve had in a month.

I hate the pace of my life.

I don’t live.  I get things done.

My life is entirely task oriented.  I wake and pray, because if I don’t pray, I get taken out by warfare.  It’s not leisurely prayer; it’s purposeful prayer.  I head to the office and start replying to e-mails.  Projects that began with a good idea are now breathing down my neck because there are deadlines to these things, and what began as a creative outburst is now just Get It Done.  I come home exhausted, fried, and that’s where the drinking thing turned sour.  Sometimes I’ll try to get a run in – but did you notice the phrase “get a run in”?  Another get it done.  Even though I do enjoy running, it has become hard to fit it in.  Task, not living.

I used to enjoy asking people, “How are you?”  Now I avoid the question, because it’s an invitation to a conversation I don’t have time for, and, it’s going to take us into issues I am going to feel obligated to do something about.  When a person says, “Not so good,” where do we go from there?  “Oh, I’m sorry.  Well, gotta go.”  I’m trying not to ask the question, so I can go on with my day and get things done.

Every age has a certain spirit or mood or climate to it.  Ours is busyness.  We’re all running like lemmings from sunup to way past sundown.  What’s with all the energy drinks?  There must be dozens now.  RocketFuel.  CrankYouUp.  Not to mention the coffeehouses on every corner.  Why do we need all this caffeine?  And why do so many of us now need sleep aids to rest at night?  Our grandparents didn’t.  We thought the age of technology would make life simplier, easier.  It has us by the throat.  We need to operate at the speed of computers.  Seriously, I’m irritated that my e-mail takes four seconds to boot up now, when it used to take ten.  I realize I’m not the first to put this down on paper.  People have been making this observation for a long time.  We are running around like ants do when you kick in their hill, like rats on a wheel, like Carroll’s Mad Hatter.

And for some reason, we either believe we can’t stop or we don’t want to.

Like the prodigal son, we are not going to do a thing about this until we wake one day to realize we are sick of it and we want a different life.  Till then, the life of not living but getting things done has its benefits.  For one, it provides us with an illusion of security – I am tackling life, I am staying on top of things.  It’s a false security, but we don’t believe that.  We believe it’s our only road to security.  Stay on top of things.  We might not be so honest as to say, “God doesn’t seem particularly involved in taking care of these things for me, so I have to do it.”  But that is our underlying conviction.  After all, if we believed God was going to take care of all that concerns us, we wouldn’t kill ourselves trying to hold our world up.

Then there is the wonderful quality of the endless distraction it provides – “purposeful distraction.”  And the bonus is I don’t have to feel guilty that I’m not facing myself or God or anyone else, because my busyness is “just the way it is,” and by golly, at least I’m showing that I’m a responsible person by getting things done.  Thus I can avoid any real disruption while feeling the victim of circumstances beyond my control.

If we really wanted to live differently, we’d show some sign of that in our choices.

So, I am going to turn off this computer and enjoy what is left of the day up here.